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354        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

or a plant, or an animal. The main difference is that in growing
he does not follow passively the order prescribed by the divine
law. What in the lower forms is unconscious change or blind
impulse becomes in him a conscious evolution capable of some
measure of control and direction. The special distinction of man
as a being endowed with perception and reason is to become
clearly conscious of his own essence : that is, to become conscious
of the divine that is in him. And this is where education comes
in. So far as the child is concerned, education is a process of
evolution determined from within. If he is left free, the in-
dwelling spiritówhich is the spirit of Godóreveals itself in his
activities: first of all as mere force, but gradually in definite
formative impulses which only need opportunity for exercise to
bring about the unfolding of his nature as a spiritual being. And
yet the evolution is not wholly from within. In his individual
life the child passes through the stages already traversed by the
race under the inspiration of the same divine impulse, and he needs
all the help he can get from the adult wisdom that embodies the
experience of the race. Even in his free self-activity and self-
determination, he must grow into the ways of the humanity of
which he is a member. But that is only possible if the teacher,
who represents humanity, is content to follow nature passively,
without prescription or dictation, directing growth, not forcing
it. If he interferes at all with the spontaneous activities of the
child, the interference must not be the arbitrary act of an in-
dividual : he must act and speak in the name of an ideal of right
which both he and his pupils recognize. Law so imposed is not
an external restriction on development from within, but the
guidance given to an immature being by the ideal towards which
his own life is moving.

The fact that education is essentially a process of growth
implies, according to Froebel, that like all growth it is subject
to the two complementary laws, the law of Opposites, and the
law of Connection. The law of Opposition, or Polarity, is the
first law of all phenomena. Even God, to be God, must have
His opposite in the world; and every finite thing, like its Creator,
has its opposite. Spirit and matter, man and woman, animal
and plant, vertical and horizontal, are but a few of the contrasts
to be seen in the universe. In growth, of which education is a
special phase, the fundamental opposition is between inner and